best skincare products for rosacea

What are the best skincare products for rosacea?

Skincare shopping is stressful when your skin behaves… But when everything you put on your skin flares up the redness and brings out acne-like bumps everywhere, stress goes through the roof.

You’re tempted not to use anything and hope the flare-up will disappear on its own… But even if the miracle happens and you’re having a good skin day, how do you keep it that way?

Most importantly, what can you do to prevent premature aging without upsetting your skin? Can you exfoliate if you have rosacea? Use retinol? Argh!

Fret not, I’ve rounded up the best skincare products for rosacea. Whether you need to soothe the redness, fight wrinkles, or protect it from the sun, this shopping list has got you covered:

cerave hydrating cleanser

Best Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($14.99)

The reason cleansing is so harsh on rosacea-prone skin? A lot of cleansers out there use harsh detergents or have a sky high pH that disrupts the skin’s protective barrier, leaving it even more prone to dryness and irritations. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is different. For starters, it’s loaded with ceramides, precious little waxes that strengthen your skin’s protective barrier and keep your skin soft during the cleansing process. Talking about cleansing, it removes all traces of dirt and makeup (even long-lasting foundation) effortlessly without irritating or drying out your skin.

Available at: Asos, Dermstore, Look Fantastic, and Ulta

Dupes & Alternatives:

Related: How To Choose The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type

paula's choice azelaic acid booster vs the ordinary azelaic acid suspension

Best For Rosacea Flareups/Acne Breakouts/Both: The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% ($7.90)

Has your rosacea flared up again? Dealing with both rosace and acne? Want to tackle rosacea and hyperpigmentation at the same time? Azelaic acid has you covered. This multitasker is a must for rosacea-prone skin, especially when you’re dealing with more than one concern at once. Azelaic acid has powerful skin-lightening properties that can fade away dark spots and melasma; it kills the bacteria that gives you acne, soothes inflammation, and reduces erythema and inflamed lesion of papulopustular rosacea. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is a very basic, irritants-free formula that’s perfect for skin at its most sensitive time.

Available at: AsosBeauty BayCult Beauty and Feel Unique

Dupes & Alternatives:

Related: How To Deal With Rosacea

bioderma sensibio AR

Best Moisturiser: Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Moisturizer For Normal To Dry Skin ($29.00)

Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Moisturizer For Normal To Dry Skin is my fave pick because it has EVERYTHING sensitive skin needs. Let’s start with its moisturising properties: a mix of Hyaluronic Acid, ceramides, and natural oils strengthen the skin’s protective barrier to deeply moisturise skin and protect it from environmental aggressors that could cause further harm. Plus, it has a sprinkle of oat extract to soothe irritations and calm down redness. Like that weren’t enough, you’re also getting a sprinkle of antioxidants to prevent premature aging. The icing on the cake? No fragrance or anything irritating like that.

P.S. Oily skin? Paula’s got a version for normal to oily skin too. It’s lighter, but just as soothing.

Available at: Look Fantastic and Paula’s Choice

Dupes & Alternatives:

Related: My Full Review Of Bioderma Sensibio AR

niod modulating glucosides review

Best Anti-Redness Serum: Niod Modulating Glucosides (£21.00)

Ever noticed that most anti-redness products don’t really reduce redness? That’s because they’re just basic moisturisers that restore the skin’s protective barrier to protect skin from anything that could further irritate it, but have no anti-inflammatory properties themselves. Niod Modulating Glucosides takes the completely opposite approach. A skin-soother on steroids, this baby is loaded with every anti-inflammatory ingredient you’ve heard of (and plenty of which you haven’t). A lot of them also double up as antioxidants, neutralising both inflammation and free radicals (the two main causes of premature aging). If this doesn’t work for you, nothing else stands a chance.

Available at: Escentual

Dupes & Alternatives:

  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner ($22.00): Available at Asos and Nordstrom
  • Paula’s’ Choice Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum ($36.00): Available at Dermstore and Paula’s Choice

Related: My Full Review Of Niod Modulating Glucosides

paula's choice super-light daily wrinkle defense spf 30 review

Best Sunscreen: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 ($35.00)

Sensitive, rosacea-prone skin? Look for a mineral sunscreen that only uses zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These white minerals are on the thick side and can leave a white cast on the skin. BUT, they’re super gentle and don’t cause irritations. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is one of my fave because it has a fairly lightweight, oil-free texture that makes it a pleasure to use. Plus, it has its fair share of niacinamide, a multitasker that hydrates skin, soothes rosacea, brightens the complexion, and even helps you treat acne. A simple, yet very powerful formula.

Available at: Dermstore

Dupes & Alternatives:

  • Badger Balm Unscented Sunscreen With Zinc Oxide SPF 30 ($16.99): Available at iHerb
  • Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 ($33.00): Available at Dermstore, Nordstrom, and Paula’s Choice

Related: 3 Reasons Why Mineral Sunscreen Is Better For Sensitive Skin

the ordinary salicylic acid 2 solution

Best Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant ($29.50)

What’s the best exfoliant for rosacea-prone skin? You’ll hear lots of different opinions here, but my vote goes to salicylic acid (BHA). Why? For starters, it’s gentler than AHAs like glycolic acid, so it’s unlikely to irritate skin. Plus, it exfoliates both the surface of your skin and deep inside the pores, removing any blackhead, whitehead and pimple that’s showing up on your skin. Like that weren’t enough, it has anti-inflammatory properties that calm down redness and irritation. I picked Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant because it has a lower concentration of salicylic acid than most exfoliants out there. Perfect for beginners.

Available at: Dermstore, Paula’s Choice and Selfridges

Dupes & Alternatives:

Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is Key To Spot-Free Skin

medik8 crystal retinal 6

Best For Antiaging: Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1 (£39.00)

Retinal stands for retinaldehyde, retinol’s most powerful cousin. Retinal does everything retinol does – fights free radicals, speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliating process, and boosts collagen – but more gently. Yep, even though it works better, it’s less likely to dry out and irritate your skin. The icing on the cake? Retinaldehyde can help alleviate mild rosacea, too. I recommend Medik8 Crystal Retinal because it comes in different strengths. 1 is the gentlest, while 10 is the strongest. Start with the lowest concentration a couple of times a week and build up dose slowly. FYI, as the concentration goes up, so does the price.

Available at: Adore Beauty and Medik8

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Avene Retrinal Advanced Wrinkle Corrector ($56.00): Available at Dermstore and Look Fantastic
  • Obagi Retivance Skin Rejuvenating Complex ($127.00): Available at Dermstore

Related: Is Retinaldehyde Better Than Retinol?

What do you think are the best skincare products for rosacea? Share your picks in the comments below.